Probably going to light up the switchboard with this pick, an older, junior Ducati - non-S ( let alone -R ), PITA to ride in town. But this last-year base model, lightly ridden with a lot of nice updates, and - wait for it - cam belt maintenance ! - has a lot of good attributes and is kind of pushing my buttons.
Accompanying the 916 to the showrooms from 1994-2002, the 748 used the chassis and crankcase from the 916 and smaller heads. The resulting 97 hp came at a higher 11,000 rpm, and the bike used lower overall gearing, increasing it's street fun factor. The 748 has close ratio transmission and of course a dry clutch. 43mm front forks are from Showa, with a Boge monoshock on the progressively linked single-sided swingarm. Two-into-two exhaust snakes around the swingarm and up under the seat. A picture of the now-classic fairing is next to the word Ducati in the encyclopedia, this one with monoposto seat fairing and number plate.
Offered by the original owner with just 3,400 miles, this 748 was obviously somebody's baby. Beside the Arrow titanium exhaust and Power Commander, there has been attention to the clutch, rear sprocket, and chain. The body updates include seat fairing, body-color mirrors, Dzus fasteners for the side fairings, and carbon here and there. As listed in the eBay auction:
- Arrow Titanium Exhaust
- Power Commander Fuel Injection Module with Custom Dyno Mapping
- Ducati OEM Mono-Tail Body & Seat Conversion
- Ducati OEM Red Mirror Conversion
- OEM Quick Release Fairing Fastener Conversion
- Billet Aluminum Brake Reservoir Covers
- Hardened Aluminum Rear Sprocket
- Titanium Sprocket Bolts
- Billet Aluminum Sprocket Carrier Conversion
- RK 520 Gold Chain
- Ducati Performance Carbon Fiber Chainguard
- Pauli Moto Billet Aluminum Clutch Cover
- Pauli Moto Billet Aluminum Clutch Pressure plate
- Pauli Moto Billet Clutch Pressure Plate Spyder
- Ducati Performance Carbon Mid-Pipe Heat Shield
- Ducati Performance Carbon Sprocket Cover
- Ducati Performance Carbon Heel Guards
- New Pirelli Diablo Tires
- Carbon Fiber License Plate Frame
- Ducati Performance Soft Cover
Not super high-res photos, but the bike looks excellent. Maintenance on the easy-revving engine shouldn't be deferred because of rocker arm concerns, and the bike has recent cam belts and tires. A little easier on the cooling system, the 748 is friendlier to road use, as long as you can handle the racey ergonomics.
Because of their long model run it'd be hard to call a 748 rare, but as always really nice ones are never around when you're looking. Many found their way to the track and the slippery slope of modification and the generation's very successful competition history. The similar way the two sizes of superbike are built you'd have to think Ducati either lost money on the lower priced 748, or made a bunch on each 916 or 996. Though an -R or -S would be nice, the 748, especially cared for as this one, is a lot of bike for the money...